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Wireless demands creating middle-mile demands

By Max Burkhalter
July 7, 2014

Fiber to Ethernet technologies have begun playing a critical role in supporting connectivity between backhaul infrastructure and Ethernet solutions at radio signal towers. These wireless network towers are increasingly important as mobile bandwidth demands rise, and many businesses are beginning to invest more heavily in middle-mile fiber installation strategies to support this trend. According to a recent FierceTelecom report, middle-mile infrastructure is becoming much more important as more mobile operators face bandwidth challenges that are forcing them to install more signal towers.

Middle-mile networks and the wireless bandwidth problem
During a discussion at the FierceTelecom executive breakfast at the FTTH 2014 conference,Scott Mispagel, vice president of network planning and engineering at Frontier Communications, explained that the diverse bandwidth challenges facing mobile operators is spurring discussions about leveraging middle-mile networks more effectively.

"We have compounding bandwidth challenges," said Mispagel. "Everyone is using more bandwidth and we are adding quite a few new customers because of the markets we acquired from Verizon that were underpenetrated and underserved.This makes modeling difficult."

These issues aren't exclusive to organizations like Frontier Communications, and companies building middle-mile networks are working to adapt their strategies based on developments across the mobile sector.Brian Lippold, advisor to the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, told the news source that organizations serving radio signal towers with middle-mile networks can benefit substantially from efforts to diversify their service portfolio.

The report explained that the Massachusetts Broadband Institute has been instrumental in deploying a large middle-mile network in Western Massachusetts. Lippold told FierceTelecom that even though middle-mile infrastructure may not built in the direct path of radio signal towers or future desired locations for those towers, efforts can be made to extend the network and use that installation as a launching point for other services in a region.

The cabling challenges of wireless
Between increased smartphone and tablet use as well as the Internet of Things movements, there have been many discussions about wireless networks as the future of data communications. This move may make it sound like dealing with cables is not the future of the network, but the reality is that increased wireless network deployment means organizations need complex backhaul capabilities that can handle a significant amount of traffic.

Beyond backhaul, connecting wireless access points with the backhaul infrastructure depends heavily on advanced Ethernet systems. The end result is a network environment in which fiber to Ethernet media converters play a critical role in supporting seamless integration.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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